Modeling ice crystal aspect ratio evolution during riming: A single-particle growth model

Anders A. Jensen, Jerry Y. Harrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This paper describes and tests a single-particle ice growth model that evolves both ice crystal mass and shape as a result of vapor growth and riming. Columnar collision efficiencies in the model are calculated using a new theoretical method derived from spherical collision efficiencies. The model is able to evolve mass, shape, and fall speed of growing ice across a range of temperatures, and it compares well with wind tunnel data. The onset time of riming and the effects of riming on mass and fall speed between -3° and -16°C are modeled, as compared with wind tunnel data for a liquid water content of 0.4 g m-3. Under these conditions, riming is constrained to the more isometric habits near -10° and -4°C. It is shown that the mass and fall speed of riming dendrites depend on the liquid drop distribution properties, leading to a range of mass-size and fall speed-size relationships. Riming at low liquid water contents is shown to be sensitive to ice crystal habit and liquid drop size. Moreover, very light riming can affect the shape of ice crystals enough to reduce vapor growth and suppress overall mass growth, as compared with those same ice crystals if they were unrimed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2569-2590
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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